5 Meditation Apps for a More Blissful Mindset
Happiness and zen are just a few taps away.
Let’s take a moment to talk about meditation. First, breathe in… Hold… And breathe out. The key to meditation is focus, but if you have a restless mind like I do, this goal can be a real challenge. For instance, my brain is like a computer screen with ten or more open tabs at any given time. Deadlines. Errands. What to get for lunch. Emails. The list goes on—and on and on.
Recently, for the sake of research and some mental clarity, I turned to the ever-so-convenient world of meditation apps. With just a few taps on my phone screen, along with deep concentration, I inched closer to a state of calm every morning. With dedicated practice, you can also change your train of thoughts. Read on for five tried-and-true meditation apps for a more blissful mindset.
1. Waking Up
Contrary to common belief, meditation is about more than just reducing stress. It may help, yes, but concentrating on the present moment can also help you live a more balanced life overall. “Even if you’re lucky, happiness can be surprisingly elusive. So, why meditate? The basic logic is quite simple: the quality of your mind determines the quality of your life,” says Sam Harris, founder of Waking Up, in a recording. A neuroscientist, philosopher, and author of Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, Harris created the app around two core principles: practice and theory. While you meditate, you can also understand the why behind it.
Cost: $14.99/month or $99.99/year
Who doesn’t love a good bedtime story? With Calm, you can listen to as many as your heart desires. A large part of this app revolves around getting restful sleep and waking up refreshed. Other features include categories for meditation sessions according to particular themes (such as gratitude, confidence, anxiety release, and mindful eating). If you’re in the mood for music, just click the second button to the right and revel in soothing sounds. In addition to breathing exercises, there are masterclasses led by doctors, authors, happiness experts and Calm’s head of mindfulness, Tamara Levitt. Listening to the app somehow makes me feel like a kid again—optimistic and free.
In 2016, Khajak Keledjian (former CEO of Intermix) revolutionized meditation by opening up a studio in the Flatiron neighborhood in NYC. Inside the meditation domes, there is a narrated voice named Skye who has an incredibly soothing Australian accent. Her voice is so calming that you’ll have to be careful not to fall asleep. Relaxation and meditation are not the same. In fact, mediation involves mindfulness, concentration, and pure practice. Inscape’s app has curated centuries of mindfulness research so you can easily access key information. Just hit download and you can hear Skye’s meditation sessions at any time or any place.
Available at: Apple Store
Cost: $12.99/month or $58.99/year
It’s all about personalization with Glo. After signing up, you’ll have to answer questions to tailor exercises according to your lifestyle. This app is unique because it strengthens not only the mind but also the body and spirit. For instance, you can choose from more than 4,000 yoga, pilates, and meditation classes led by a global network of instructors. Each class is displayed via video, so you can follow step-by-step in the comfort of your home. Depending on how much time you have, you can choose exercises of varying lengths. Some are as short as ten minutes, so even busy-bees can benefit!
I was first drawn to the app for its clever name: Ten Percent Happier. Sounds realistic, right? Designed for “fidgety skeptics” of meditation, there are basic courses and talks to help you along your journey to a happier mind. The app was created by author and ABC news anchor Dan Harris, who had a panic attack on live TV and used the experience to create something positive instead. Ten Percent Happier also includes a book, podcast, and blog, so you can continue incorporating meditation into your life in bite-sized ways. And there’s no better time to start than now.
Wendy Sy is a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle writer based in New York City. In addition to her editorial website, Style Meets Story, her work has been featured in Allure, Avenue Magazine, InStyle, and more. When she’s not brainstorming ideas for upcoming articles, you can find her spending countless hours searching for lost treasures at vintage shops. Photo by Sophie Elgort.